This entry is aimed more at parents. I’m sure you can find a way to relate this to other crap, but my brain is not quite working today so that’s on you.
Before I had my daughter I was the almighty Skinbyrd, Perschon, the girl with the shaved head, crazy, a writer, a server, a coffee fanatic, a drop out. You name it. I was a unique individual. I was me.
Then I got pregnant.
And no. Men do not get pregnant so do not say “we got pregnant”.
Once my mini-me was born it was like the world took my identity and threw it away. I was no longer me. I was a mom. Then I got sick, then I was a very ill mom. Needless to say I was gone. In my place was this motherly figure, I tried to keep my hobbies alive, but I was overwhelmed with motherhood and lost myself in the process.
It’s hard to maintain your old self once you have a child, but it’s not impossible. My daughter is turning 3 in a couple of months here, and I have made huge strides to get myself back. To be more than just a mother. To be myself. To have my own identity and break out of the “diapers and diaper rash” conversations.
Now this is where people get kind of iffy on me. A lot of mothers (and fathers in some cases) feel like their kids and families have to come before them. While I DO agree on that, you still have to take care of yourself. I stayed home with my daughter for the first 2 years of her life. I believe I made the right decision for her, and I don’t regret it, but it negatively impacted me. I fell out of my groups of friends, I lost interest in going back to school, my resume has a huge gap on it, and I basically lost the drive to keep “me” alive. I became all that is mom. I started realizing this when I’d go to grab some coffee with a friend and all I had to talk about what my daughter. I had no clue what was up with my best friend’s wedding, my other friends school, you name it. I was so wrapped up in all that is mom, I lost everything.
So I enrolled in college, one to have social interaction, two to be prepared if things went south in the future (haha, how soon is now?). After I started classes at the campus, I started getting social again, I started to realize that there was more in the future than kids. After I got my job it just snow balled.
I have myself back. I now make decisions based on the future, of both my daughter and me, instead of the here and now for my daughter. I make sure that I get out and have fun, I’m thinking of starting my own business, I stay up to date on school work, and still have mucho play time with the short one.
It’s all about balance… you’re more than just a parent. You are you. You have kids yes, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a life.
Life is what you make it. Simple as that.